Tips to Build a Community Management Strategy

February 12th, 2021 by

Social media is, without a doubt, one of the most important places to be for brands and consumers. It provides a fantastic opportunity to build relationships and communicate directly from brand to consumer, and vice versa. However, it is important that this relationship and communication is contained and managed, otherwise the sense of community customers feel will be lost. This is where a social community management strategy comes in. 

Social media marketing allows your brand to grow – grow an audience, a following, increase website traffic and sales. Social community management is about engaging this audience. It means creating a community engagement strategy that nurtures, develops and maintains strong customer relationships. Your brand’s community engagement strategy action plan could involve customer service, responding to complaints and actively talking with and engaging your brand’s online community through polls, competitions and giveaways or livestreams. The main goal is to establish a brand’s reputation, trust and authority within an online community.

Step One: Monitor Your Community

Before you implement a community building marketing strategy, you need to understand your existing community. You need to know where they are most prevalent, what makes them tick, what they talk about and who the most engaging members are. To discover this, you can use social listening tools such as Brandwatch or Meltwater which allow you to track specific hashtags, brand mentions and conversations. 

While it is most important to understand what your community wants, you should also assess the conversations of your competitors. By doing this, you may uncover a standpoint or conversation consumer desire, but are missing. 

Step Two: Make Engagement Content 

Once you know who your community is, what they talk about and where they discuss it, you can begin to create a community engagement marketing strategy. This means creating content that your community can directly engage with—these can be videos, whitepapers, infographics, webinars or any other type of content that is suitable for your brand. 

It is vital to remember you are not creating content you want to create, but content your audience wants to interact with. Creating content for the sake of it is pointless. Every piece you create should add meaning and purpose to your brand and community. 

Some of the most popular engagement techniquest at the moment are livestreams. These enable you to speak with your audience in real time, solidifying a feeling of community. 

Step Three: Join and Lead Conversations

You are creating content for your audience and community, but you should take it one step further and engage in conversation with them. Responding to mentions on social media platforms is a great way to build a stronger relationship. With this, it is important to not only respond to positive comments, but also negative ones. This increases the transparency and authenticity of your brand, and can improve customer advocacy. 

To join or lead conversations, you should make use of the popular hashtags that relate to your brand or campaign. This can help you contribute to discussions, debates and answer questions from the wider community which can increase your reach. 

Another great way to actively engage a community is to develop relationships with trusted influencers. This can increase your brand’s reach, create trust, boost sales and help penetrate tricky markets. These relationships don’t happen overnight (unless partnering for paid content) so nurturing your influencer relationships is equally as important as nurturing your community. 

Step Four: Analyse Your ROI

Creating a brand community strategy can involve a lot of trial and error. To learn from your mistakes, you need to know which key metrics are most important to follow for your brand. 

Tracking your follower count is a quick and easy way to see if your community is growing. Though this metric should not be used on its own, but in combination with others to allow you to see a full picture of your efforts. 

Your engagement and engagement rate is one of the most important metrics to track. You should find the average amount of likes, comments and shares you get for your posts, and set this as your benchmark. Then you are easily able to see which posts work best, and which don’t work as well. 

If your community is solidly engaged, you should see an improvement on your website traffic. A good source for analysing this is Google Analytics, which allows you to see the referral traffic to see where people are coming from. This will help you understand where you should be placing your efforts and which platforms need additional work. 

Reviewing your share of voice is key to see how you place against your competitors. Knowing how many conversations you dominate within a market should be as of interest to you as knowing how much market share you own.

Analysing your ROI with the right combination of metrics will allow you to tweak and perfect your community management strategy. As your community grows, you may need to have your own social media community management services team. Your community management strategy deserves as much time and thought as any marketing strategy as it is how your brand comes across and communicates to your audience.

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